Sunday, October 12, 2008

FID Round 2

After writing about a long while ago about how a job wasn't something I minded doing then ending up in the position of not working for a period I feel at a loss as to my next step. I don't want to end up working a job that takes my energy away from my passions, but welcome to the real world. If I only were strong enough to pause my consumption and live more minimally I'd be able to survive on very little, but I've been spoiled by the type of paychecks that come from hustling and working myself to the bone. Gone are the days when I make my rent in a single week's pay. And as I get older I feel myself financially regressing. I'm nearly 27, unemployed, and don't know where to go next. But strangely, being broke is somewhat of a relief. It sets boundaries for me that I've previously been unable to set myself.

At some point I have to swallow my pride and remember no one cares what I do for a living. This is a different generation, careers don't necessarily define us, nearly everyone I know has a different agenda from their job. I have to be okay with that. I just can't get buried in a career path again, unless it's one I actually care about. I'm a hard-working, loyal, and dedicated employee, but at the end of the day, none of that matters if deep down I don't give a fuck. I've got a case of the recession blues as much as the next person, but that isn't what's crushing me. It's the overwhelming uncertainty I've felt long before the stock market went into free fall. But the emergent financial crisis leaves me even more fearful and doubtful.

And perhaps I could weather part of this storm in graduate school. Bury myself in academia. But you can't get a doctorate in creative writing, so I'll only be able to hide so long. But maybe a MFA will buy me time and space to work, but then again, unemployment should do the trick and thus far it hasn't. I haven't been writing the way I've expect to. I've got a mental block and the timing couldn't be worse. Fiction isn't flowing and the non-fiction as most of you have noticed has fallen time and again into the "bitching is my birthright" category, the only thing I seem to excell at these days is lamentation.

My position in life has always been tenuous. I think of myself as an artist without the passion or the balls to really go for it, similar to my art major mother who decided she wasn't going to be a painter because she didn't have the drive to really go for it and feared the risks. And despite my reckless lifestyle, ultimately I am not a risk taker. I won't put myself out there, the fear of failure is too great. To fail would be to negate what I've put lip-service to my entire life and to admit that it's been nothing but lip service aside from this goddamn blog.

So what do I do? What do I write? Songs for a band that doesn't exist, or at least that's what I call them...because lord knows I don't want the fate of a poet. A frustrated poet is even worse than a frustrated actress. And at one time I was a somewhat legitimized song-writer, lyrics printed in the album insert and everything. And what humiliation I suffered when I heard our label's staff spent at evening on the front porch of their headquarters doing a mock poetry reading of my Battletorn lyrics. Even though such a gesture wasn't necessarily negative in intent, the thought of being potentially mocked was enough to awaken the hibernation instinct. I've always been hyper-defensive and when given a reason, the mechanisms really fly.

So what is the solution here? I guess just to say, productively this time, "Fuck it dude," and try. Let my creation of what real world is and the fears it holds slip away and dive into an alternate reality where failure doesn't matter and attempts are more valuable than results. I hope I can do that, because right now my mechanisms are so intricate that I am not even creating. Because if you don't have any results to put out there you can't get rejected. It's a default way of living that's pretty pathetic. But if you have nothing to submit the fear of rejection is nil. You really can't argue with that.

It's hard to put the pressure on when you've got no one to be accountable to but yourself. But maybe I need to matter more.


Anonymous said...

dust to dust, ashes to ashes. or similar.

Kara said...

fuck, well said...i'm pretty sure i'll be writing my own version of this in a couple years time. i'm a creative writing major.

Orin Brecht said...

When you spoke about grad school; I think you should go for it. I'm going back to school for these same reasons. My shitty career drains my creative energy and at the end of the day I have none left for myself. So I veg out in front of my latest netflix or go get hammered. There's no one around to honestly critique any work I actually accomplish so when I do buckle down and get creative I just end up thinkin' "this sucks. I suck". So I'm headed back to school. My feeling is if you're forced to create you will. And your professors or fellow students are better at spotting your suckitude and strengths much better than you will ever be able to.

Whatever. I just blogged all over your blog.